Migrant Farmworker Health

CDC Support of Migrant Farmworker Stream Forums

As one way to increase awareness of migrant health, CDC’s Office of Health Equity (OHE) supports three regional migrant stream health conferences held in the following regions: Eastern, Midwest, and West Coast. These conferences provide education and training to practitioners working in community health centers and migrant health centers throughout the United States and its territories. These centers are a significant employer of community health workers.

The forums represent a combined national effort to provide opportunities for migrant health providers and others who work with the population to enhance skills, create networking and collaboration opportunities, and to identify additional resources, program models, and effective training for the more efficient delivery of health care and public health services to farmworkers.

CDC has participated in the conference planning committees and given presentations on relevant public health topics at each of the regional conferences. In order to enhance collaboration, OHE is leading intra-agency discussions on migrant health with representatives and subject matter experts from across several centers including CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), and Office of Women’s Health (OWH).

The results of leading these discussions support a CDC presence and communication on CDC priorities and resources by the CIOs at the regional conferences. Over time, this support should benefit the awareness and training of community health workers at community and migrant health centers.

Upcoming Farmworker Stream Forums and Materials from Past Forums

East Coast Migrant Stream Forum

North Carolina Community Health Center Association (MCCHCA logo

30th Annual East Coast Migrant Stream Forum

October 12-14, 2017

Atlanta, Georgia

Through workshops and networking opportunities, health professionals and advocates are exposed to the latest in clinical trends, farmworker-specific service delivery models, cutting-edge research and funding initiatives.

The 28th Annual East Coast Migrant Stream Forum was held in Memphis, Tennessee from October 15-17, 2015. Proceedings from the 28th are available at NCFH.

For additional resources, visit North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA) Migrant Health.

Midwest Migrant Stream Forum

National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) logo

28th Annual Midwest Stream Forum

September 10-12, 2018

New Orleans, Louisiana

The 27th Annual Midwest Stream Forum for Agricultural Worker Health held in Grand Rapids, MI was a huge success! Thank you to all the attendees, speakers, and exhibitors who traveled from near and far to Grand Rapids. You helped make this conference a wonderful historical event, as we met for the first time ever in the great state of Michigan!  Forum participants were offered 24 breakout sessions, 3 exciting and information-packed plenary sessions, and 3 intensive training sessions, totaling over 50 hours of educational opportunities!

West Coast Migrant Stream Forum

Northwest regional primary care association logo

27th Annual Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health

February 22-24, 2018

Seattle, Washington

The Western Forum for Migrant and Community Health is an annual conference bringing together health professionals from migrant and community health centers and allied organizations for the purposes of education and training, information and resource sharing, coalition building, and program and policy development.

The Role of Community Health Centers

Community health centers (CHC) are community-based and patient-directed organizations that serve populations with limited access to health care. Migrant workers often experience a limited access to health care, therefore utilizing community health centers can help target the migrant worker population. CHC’s often work in high need communities and frequently interact with populations that are not reached through health departments. These characteristics of CHC’s make them an ideal candidate to address migrant health. For resources on community health center strengthening, visit the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP)’s page on this topic.

Community Health Workers

Community health workers (CHWs), otherwise known as promotoras, promotores, and multiple other names, serve a key role in the improvement of migrant health. As health educators, they:

  • Facilitate health promotion and disease prevention activities, programs, and interventions at the community level,
  • Are trusted members of communities and have unique knowledge of and familiarity with communities they work with,
  • Increase access to services,
  • Enhance the cultural competency of health programs,
  • Conduct activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support, and advocacy, and
  • Serve as translators.

To learn more about the impact of CHWs, CHW initiatives/programs, and state policies involving CHWs, read the Policy Brief on Community Health Workers.

Educating Migrant Workers on Zika: A Training of Trainers Session


OHE developed the “Educating Migrant Workers on Zika” Training of Trainers (TOT) session for bilingual CHWs in response to the need for bilingual English/Spanish material on Zika virus disease (Zika) tailored to the migrant and seasonal worker population. This population is more vulnerable to infection due to frequent trips to affected areas, distinct behaviors, and ideas about health, general poorer access to high quality health services, and more. The training covers important aspects of Zika including transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, migrant risk factors, protective strategies, and training in diverse settings. The manual follows the process of facilitation and provides trainers with important notes and tools for a successful session.

Slide Deck

During the facilitation of the TOT, these slides are made available to the participants.